Top 10 PortMiami Cruise Layover Things To Do

Checking Out Wynwood


Checking Out Wynwood

By: Lori Kahn

Cruising from PortMiami and have a few hours to spare? Here are ten great things to do just minutes away that will leave you with memories that you won’t soon forget.

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Visit Bayside Marketplace (1.4 miles from PortMiami)

Whether you’re looking for an obligatory floppy beach hat for your cruise or forgot your chancletas (flip flops), Bayside Marketplace has you covered. Not only do you get a view of the port and beautiful Biscayne Bay, but you will find shops for all budgets and tastes. It’s a very short ride from the Port to Bayside where you will want to stop by one of the waterfront restaurants like the Largo Bar & Grill or the world famous Hard Rock Café for a classic Miami mojito. After you are sated, jump on the Island Queen for a fun 90-minute boat tour through million dollar mansions or a thrilling 45-minute speed boat tour around the islands and South Beach.

Museum Park’s Frost Science and PAMM (2.3 miles from PortMiami)

Another short trip from PortMiami, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Science Museum in Miami's Downtown Museum Park is one of the only institutions worldwide boasting both a state-of-the-art planetarium and cutting edge aquarium. It overlooks Biscayne Bay, surrounded by Downtown Miami's dazzling skyline. The museum's permanent exhibitions are dedicated to South Florida's biodiversity, the physics of light, aviation, the human mind and body. The rooftop observation deck houses both a telescope for stargazing and an urban garden.

Perez Art Museum of Miami (the PAMM) is Miami's 200,000 square-foot flagship modern and contemporary art museum. Focusing on international art of the 20th and 21st centuries, the majority of the artwork housed in PAMM’s collections feature living artists. In addition to exploring the galleries, you can also enjoy waterfront dining at Verde restaurant, shop a unique selection of art items at the museum’s gift store or just take in the spectacular views of Biscayne Bay and the elaborate hanging gardens.

Brickell City Center and Mary Brickell Village (4.3 miles from PortMiami)

You will find three full blocks of upscale shopping in the brand new Brickell City Center, anchored by 5th Avenue of Saks and including incredible brands from Stuart Weitzman to Sephora. Once you find a treasure to take home, celebrate your shopping spree by trying one of your incredible gastronomic experiences,  like the newly opened The Centrale Italian Food Hall spanning three levels with 14 different Italian eateries, cafes, and shopping options.

While you're Brickell, wander through Mary Brickell Village.This cute little haven amid the towering Brickell cityscape offers an oasis of boutiques, restaurants and people watching. Stop by Perricone's for traditional Italian fare in a surprising cozy house-turned-restaurant in the middle of it all. For a true taste bud sensation, visit Mister01 Pizza for star shaped pies filled with ricotta cheese, covered in fresh mozzarella and topped with roasted peppers, then just sit back and watch the bustle of this hip downtown area.

Miami Children's Museum (5.3 miles from PortMiami)

If your kids are all about exploring, then just cross over the MacArthur Causeway to the Miami Children’s Museum, which is filled with fun and interactive activities designed just for kids and their imagination. Visit their latest Disney’s Lion Guard traveling exhibit along with other permanent exhibits meant to stimulate the mind and build on self-esteem and creativity.

Your kids will love the Castle of Dreams with its winding slide, Mt. MiChiMu’s rock climbing wall and the Ocean Odyssey with its 900-gallon marine tank displaying three different underwater environments unique to South Florida. This is just the start, with over 17 hands-on exhibits to explore, your kids may never want to leave.

Jungle Island (5.3 miles from PortMiami)

Jungle Island has been a favorite South Florida landmark that began in 1936, when it was home to some of the world's most exotic animals. This spring 2018 it will reopen after a few months of renovation and bring us even closer to its complete re-imagining which will add authentic "jungle adventure" features and become an eco-adventure park. There is a planned zip line to overlook the port and cruise ships, children's adventure play areas, water slides and a man-made crystal lagoon for watersports like paddleboarding and swimming. There are also plans for a private beach club and a new restaurant. Once reopened, Jungle Island will be a must-see for any cruise ship layover.

Little Havana’s Calle Ocho (4.1 miles from PortMiami)

All your friends have told you about Little Havana’s renowned Calle 8 and you don’t want major FOMO, right? It may be a little bit further, but well worth the Lyft to visit one of the liveliest and most colorful neighborhoods in Miami where you will experience the richness of local Cuban culture. Grab yourself a cafecito and get your salsa on at Ball and Chain. Once your feet have had enough, make sure to stop next door and try the mouth-watering flavor of the Abuela Maria ice cream at Azucar. You’ll also want to stop by Calle 8 Cigars before you go and pick up a few quality smokes for your friends back home – they will owe you big time.

Wynwood Walls (3.4 miles from PortMiami)

You cannot - we repeat - cannot come to Miami and not explore Wynwood. Every corner, every side street has something to offer. This is one very Instagrammable part of Miami, and Wynwood Walls is at its heart. From life-sized murals of the Dalai Lama and graffiti quotes, to abstract paintings and out-of-this-world sculptures, Wynwood Walls is as unique as it is creative. Stop by the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, a Latin and Asian-inspired restaurant that’s as art-focused as its surrounding neighborhood. Try some of the flavorful small plates like pork belly, Brussels sprouts and ceviche, and stay for the art. You will never look at “Urban Graffiti” the same way again.

South Beach (5.7 miles from PortMiami)

At less than 6 miles from the PortMiami, you couldn’t possibly come to Miami and not visit South Beach. If you have a bit of time, you’ll want to store your luggage and Lyft directly to the beach for some sand and sun or if you want to keep yourself a bit less “beachy,” find a day room or cabana to let the time pass in style.

Check out the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and lounge in a “SOAK” cabana - the perfect spot to get a little R&R at the pool. There is also a new Daycation App that allows you to spend as little as $25 for a day pass at one of many luxury Miami Beach hotels where you can enjoy their private pools, beachfronts and other amenities usually only available to hotel guests.

Espanola Way (6.6 miles from PortMiami)

If you find yourself in South Beach take a stroll through Espanola Way, a unique little street between Washington and Pennsylvania Avenues lined with romantic Mediterranean style buildings and a world away from bustling Miami Beach. Cozy restaurants and shops fill the spaces between the intimate hotels and courtyards.

You will want to try Mare Mio Restaurant for delicious seafood and Italian specialties or La Folie, a charming creperie and French café with a romantic pocket garden and cozy bistro seating. With all the charming boutiques and shops, you are sure to find just what you need to complete your cruising attire before heading off to the ship.

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